Socks are one of those pieces of cycling kit that normally don’t warrant a lot of thought for most of us, especially when compared to their flashier cousins of shorts, jersey, vest and even the helmet and sunglasses combo. That is until you’ve had a truly great pair of socks to ride in. Of course they should look great and feel snug when you put them on, but possibly the best test of a great sock is that you don’t notice them when you’re out riding.
Sock length and color have caused plenty of debate on Saturday morning rides. Thankfully Q36.5 have a range of styles that not only cater to your aesthetic preferences but also the weather conditions. Okay, so they might not improve your power output, but Q36.5 socks truly warrant getting excited about.
The name kinds says it all here…at just 26grams per pair these socks really are ultra-light! Q36.5 bill them as ‘the ultimate grand tour sock: so thin you’re going to have tighten your shoes a notch’. But, unlike some other socks, they are thin and still substantial because they were engineered with this in mind from the start.
These are Chad’s favorites…he loves a tighter fitting shoe and the Ultralights give direct pedaling feedback. There are no seams, they are made from a super soft blend and have mesh panels incorporated for breathability. The cuffs are a traditional cycling length of 4 inches but if you like them a bit higher, there is more than enough give in them to reach that extra bit towards your calf (and stay there).
The Ultralight sock comes in more color and style combinations that the others…and we’ve got good stock levels . We still have the fluorescent colors, black and white with thin Italian tricolore detailing, but it is the new ‘band’ design that has really got me excited. In white with a band in your favorite color or black with a white stripe and striking Q36.5 branding, these are a great addition to your summer line-up.
At first touch you’ll notice that the Compression sock has a little more substance to it than the Ultralight. They’ve actually used the same soft fabric but the tighter knit combined with more elastane gives the sock a denser feel. At 5 inches in height, they also sit a lit higher than their little brother. Despite this they don’t feel any warmer than the Ultralights which also makes them perfect for summer riding. We also find them the perfect sock to pair them with shoe covers in cooler weather.
This is a snug sock…you’ll certainly feel the compression but in no way is it restrictive. This is no recovery sock either. It’s designed for on the bike comfort and performance to reduce muscular fatigue.
We’ve got some great summer colors in the Compression right now, which also match the rest of the Q36.5 kit. A couple of different fluorescents in green, orange and yellow sit along side a plain white (with tricolore pin-stripes) and the ‘arrow’ design that combines a black or white base with their signature colours of orange or green. My new favorite though is the ‘Absolutely Black’ model with a bold Italian tricolore arrow on the front and ‘Absolutely Equipment’ (Q36.5’s motto) on the back. Brillante!
For me, it is when the weather turns south that you notice the real value of socks. The Plus is versatile and designed for Fall, Spring along with inclement weather but if you live in the San Francisco area you might choose to wear these most of the year.
Unlike most other cool weather socks, the Plus is not bulky (in fact they are only 11 grams a pair heavier than the Ultralights!). Uniquely, Q36.5 have blended merino wool with silk that reduces volume for a solid feel but still keeps your feet toasty. Like the Compression they have a 5 inch cuff.
The Plus comes in a couple of darker color options, once again in Q36.5’s signature colors. Grey/black with orange or the Italian arrow are similar in appearance to the Compression models while the Orange and Black camo is a real head turner.
The Be Love is a true winter sock that is rated all the way down to freezing point. Like the Plus, the Be Love also uses a blend or merino wool and silk bit is slightly thicker for better insulating qualities. To prevent heat loss through the soles of your feet and shoes, they’ve increased the density along the bottom for a plush ride.
Available in two color combinations of black or white with green, these are socks that you’ll want to wear even when you are not cycling. These are the lightest cold weather sock that I’ve ever worn…you might just want to wear them everyday to work, shopping or the bar.
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I think that we all have a tendency to get excited about things that we are passionate about…and these socks certainly fit in that category. I now wear my selection on a lot of occasions when not cycling so don’t be afraid to try them for other sports. No matter which sock you choose, you’re going to love them so much that you come back for seconds. You can see the whole Q36.5 sock range on the AC website.